Preparatory School Annual Report 2020

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St Andrew’s College Preparatory School Annual Report 2020

Introduction The end-of-year 2020 Preparatory School Annual Report aims to inform the school community about pertinent areas of operation during the year. In particular, it provides information on areas of learning focus and development.

CONTENTS Principal’s Comment Student-centred Learning Approach Curriculum/Teaching and Learning Assessment and Reporting Well-being and Pastoral Care Gifted and Talented Junior Department Middle Syndicate Year 7 Year 8 Mathematics Sport Learning Support Visual Arts Music Dance and Drama Physical Education Religious Education Library Digital Technology and eLearning Digital Literacy and Robotic

1 4 5 8 10 12 15 20 23 25 27 29 34 36 37 39 40 42 44 46 52

2020 was a Year of High-level Academic Achievement Advancement in Literacy and Numeracy continued during the year, as did the children’s ongoing development of strategies and tools for learning. The children performed well against national benchmarks. The Preparatory School is committed to enhancing strategies and skills for learning. The children need to be able to make meaningful connections, and to apply knowledge to a range of situations and contexts. The Preparatory School continues to be acknowledged and recognised as a showcase and working example of what a 21st century learning environment looks like.

Academic Achievements in 2020 READING Children at or above national averages

91.3% MATHEMATICS Children at or above national averages

97.5% WRITING Children at or above national averages

90.5% KEY COMPETENCIES Children within or above their year level standard


Enjoyment, engagement, personalised learning, and achievement is readily seen at any time during the day.


The school’s learning environment caters for all learning styles and abilities, and offers a level of diversity, which nurtures and expands all children’s development. The children’s learning is personalised through differentiation; the focus becomes each child’s genuine next steps. This allows each child to work at his or her appropriate level irrespective of year level. Working with small groups, the teacher can scaffold, mentor, and guide the learning. The teacher can also stimulate deeper thinking and understanding through quality questioning. Differentiation also caters for the learning needs of able children. It allows them to work at an extended level but remain in their learning environment with their


peer group. This approach also assists the development of their Key Competencies (KCs) or Emotional Intelligence (EQ). The KCs are considered integral to being a well-rounded and successful learner. A person’s EQ is expected to be a significant factor in securing employment in the future. The primary years are the foundation years for the development of this skill set. In the Preparatory School we are fortunate to have: • the ability to implement the New Zealand Curriculum as intended; • clarity within the school around effective pedagogy;

• strong curriculum leadership; • competent teachers; • enrichment experiences taken by specialist staff; • a rigorous yet supportive teacher performance review process; • a physical environment which supports the school’s approach to learning; • the flexibility of large shared areas as well as smaller (class) rooms. Either or both can be used depending on the learning environment required at the time; • one teacher with one class of children. This ensures that the crucial connections made between the teacher and child (and family) can be maintained, and there is no loss of learning flow; • indoor/outdoor flow and connectivity; • availability of a range of learning technologies; • opportunities for innovation and creativity; • forward looking and timely future planning.

• most children played and enjoyed more than one sport, and many achieved regional and national success; • there was ongoing development of coding and robotics, and the opportunity to work in the world of virtual reality; • the gender balance continues to be evenly balanced; • we continued to be a school in demand for places. The Preparatory School’s all-round quality is consistently acknowledged by parents, staff, and students in ongoing surveys. The high level of support for the Preparatory School in all key areas is very pleasing and affirming. As we look towards 2021, we will have a targeted Annual Plan which will continue to support the ongoing development of the school’s Student-centred Learning Approach (Page 5). This model incorporates the intention and emphasis of the New Zealand Curriculum. All staff professional learning next year will link to the Annual Plan targets and expected outcomes. The 2021 school year is set to be an exciting and productive year for students and staff.

During the year, the children enjoyed high levels of success – there were many outstanding academic, sporting, and cultural achievements. Some of the highlights were: • Three students won ICAS medals (top mark in New Zealand for their age); • a record number of students won competitions – Writing, Poetry, Speech and Drama, Future Problem Solving (individual category), and in teams – Future Problem Solving;

Jonathan Bierwirth Principal of Preparatory School Deputy for Rector


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Curriculum / Teaching and Learning The Preparatory School curriculum is developed under the guidelines and philosophy of the New Zealand Curriculum and takes into consideration the special nature of St Andrew’s College. It takes, as its starting point, a vision of our young people as lifelong learners who are confident and creative, connected, and actively involved. It includes a clear set of principles on which to base curriculum decision making. It sets out values that are to be encouraged, modelled, and explored. It defines five Key Competencies that are critical to sustained learning and effective participation in society, and that underline the emphasis on lifelong learning. Literacy remains the largest and most important learning area (includes Reading, Writing, Spelling, Visual and Oral Language). Literacy accounts for 60–65 percent of the weekly timetable. Numeracy (Mathematics), Enrichment (specialist areas), and Units of Inquiry make up most of the remaining time in the timetable. The school is committed to enhancing strategies and skills for learning and high levels of understanding. A quality learning environment encourages discussion and questioning, and for the student is engaging, differentiated, and meaningful. It also develops interpersonal skills. During 2020, the imminent arrival of COVID-19 meant there was much ‘just in time’ learning and professional development for staff prior to and during

lockdown. Staff attended on-site and online tutorials and professional development sessions to aid their remote learning package. Staff used a variety of creative ways to engage with students at home, with a focus on the use of Microsoft Teams and video conferencing. The gathering of Student Voice feedback was further developed in 2020. This was done in three ways. During Terms 2 and 4 staff used an online tool, Appraisal Connector, to gather specific feedback on the following areas: • Safety and Well-being; • Standards and Expectations; • Teaching and Learning – Relationships; • Teaching and Learning – Communication; • Teaching and Learning – Motivation. Appraisal Connector provides an anonymous survey for students to complete while allowing teachers to see a detailed summary of their strengths and ‘next steps’ for teaching. Students then re-do the same survey in Term 4, allowing the teachers to reflect on changes they have made through the course of the year. The second tool used in Years 4–8 is the NZCER ‘Me and My School Survey’. Again, this is an anonymous survey that offers a snapshot of the learning culture in a school and standardised data to track progress over time, as well as nationally referenced gender, ethnicity, and year level comparison. The quality of the teaching and learning in the Preparatory School was reinforced through both surveys. During the lockdown period the Preparatory School also used Microsoft forms to check 5

in on the well-being of students while learning from home. This provided valuable information to classroom teachers as well as the pastoral team who needed extra support over this unusual time. The Preparatory School will continue to use these tools in future years to gauge the quality of teaching and learning. In 2020, there continued to be a focus on the use of Te Reo Māori in classrooms. All teachers attended lunchtime professional development with an outside tutor and implemented this learning in their classrooms. Te Reo Māori is one of New Zealand’s three official languages and providing our students with a basic understanding of Te Reo Māori and Tikanga has had many benefits for them. These sessions had a dual focus of actively encouraging staff to develop confidence in their own speaking while providing practical activities for use in the classroom. It has been encouraging to see an increased use of Te Reo Māori throughout the Preparatory School. Students have displayed an increasing sense of pride in the New Zealand Māori culture, as well as an understanding of how languages work and how these skills can be transferred to other areas of learning. 2020 saw teaching of the new Digital Technologies Curriculum become mandatory in all schools across Years 1–10. The new content challenges learners to develop their computational thinking and to create digital outcomes to solve realworld problems. Targeted professional development sessions and targeted teaching through two in-school specialists have seen significant progress for staff and students. Anneke Kamo has spent time in classes in the Junior and Middle Syndicate, while Wilj Dekkers has spent time with Year 7–8 classes and teachers to create units 6

of work to support this area. Staff across the school have completed Professional Development in using Minecraft Education and EV3 robots in the classroom, as well as 3D printing and design. During 2020, professional learning groups (PLGs) saw a strong focus on Health and Well-being topics. Staff explored new resources for teaching in this space including the Australian resource Bounce Back. Bounce Back is an award-winning programme that supports teachers in their efforts to promote positive mental health, well-being and resilience for students and build safe and supportive class and school learning environments. Managing access to social media, online material, and cyber safety, continued to impact on the well-being of our students, particularly given the added disruption COVID-19 brought to the picture. Of particular success with the Bounce Back programme was the use of ‘circle time’ to provide a forum for students to share and discuss around life challenges. Linked closely to Well-being, the Junior team PLG focus was Mindfulness. The team engaged two tutors, from Mindful Movers to teach both the children and provide staff with professional learning. At the start of the year the tutors ran a parent information evening and explained the programme. This was very well attended, and the message was positively received. Lessons have run with individual classes throughout Terms 1–3 and have had a positive influence on students learning and behaviour. PLGs provide teachers with the opportunity to pursue areas of passion with like-minded educators across levels. Using the ‘Teaching as Inquiry’ model, groups have engaged in collaboratively seeking out new and innovative practices and trialling these in classrooms.


Assessment and Reporting Assessment Assessment is described as the process of gathering, analysing, interpreting, and using information about students’ progress and achievement to improve teaching and learning. Assessment plays a significant part in our education system and should strive to involve all children in knowing how successful they have been in their learning. This is an integral part of developing lifelong learning skills. Teaching and learning in the Preparatory School continues to show many strengths. A considerable part of this is the ability to reflect modern learning pedagogy in teaching as well as through our approach to assessment. As this shift in education continues so has our view of assessment. Visible Learning assessment practices continue to be a focus in the Preparatory School. This is where assessed information is used by teachers to adjust their teaching strategies, and by students to adjust their learning strategies. Assessment, teaching, and learning are inextricably linked, as each informs the other. Students feel involved in the process


and can describe where they are at with their learning and what their next steps are. Quality and timely feedback from teacher to student, student to teacher, and student to student are an important part of this. Quality conversations and feedback formed part of the appraisal process for classroom teachers in 2020 and will continue to be an area to grow in 2021. Areas of improvement in 2020 have included: • consistent approach to using the same curriculum levels and language as the Secondary School to provide consistency; • modification to feedback given to students to be more meaningful and timely; • clarification with students around understanding feedback; • unpacking assessment information with students to develop greater understanding; • developing teacher, peer, and selfassessment (feedback) of student work. E–Assessment and Online Testing E-asTTle continues to be our main tool for assessing Year 4–8 students in Reading and Writing. As well as being used for whole school cohort testing, individual teachers also used the shorter tests with small groups to inform next steps in the learning process. In 2020, minor changes were made to the test structure and length to better reflect current pedagogy around testing. E-asTTle provided information to teachers, students, and parents about levels of achievement relative to the Curriculum achievement outcomes for Levels 2 to 6. Staff found e-asTTle to be a great tool for helping students understand

their progress, and a useful way to involve parents in discussions about their children’s progress. Classes also used the e-asTTle writing rubric to self-assess their writing as part of class work. In Mathematics, teachers used PAT Mathematics online to assess students learning at both the beginning and end of year. Several staff also trialled the use of the PAT Adaptive Mathematics test with groups of students. Adaptive testing accurately assesses a student during the test by continuously adapting the assessment to give them questions which best fit their overall level of achievement. The student is given an initial question and if they get it right, they’re given a harder one, or if they get it wrong, they’re given an easier one. Adaptive technology means everyone gets the test, which is right for them, from students at the lower levels to those who need additional challenge. Reporting to Parents The use of the Community Portal as the means to view reports was continued in 2020 and is now the accepted means for viewing and comparing student reports over time. Students received reports comprising of: • a summary of initial testing and Curriculum Level placement (Term 1); • individual next learning steps for key subject areas (Term 1); • individual Key Competency related goals (Term 1); • specialist staff assessment of skills, knowledge, and behaviour during specialist lessons (Terms 2 and 4); • teacher comment around Key Competencies (Terms 2 and 4);

• a summary of student progress towards goals and further testing results (Terms 2 and 4). Parents were able to access results and comments in a timely manner and discuss with teachers and students at learning conferences. Learning conferences continued to provide another forum for teachers, students, and parents to discuss learning and set goals for the future. The Preparatory School has an open-door policy and has continued to encourage parents to contact staff whenever they feel a need. New in 2020 was the introduction of a comprehensive summary of learning for all students receiving one on one or small group lessons from our Learning Support team. Our dedicated team of teacher aides and specialist tutors continued to work tirelessly with students and it was pleasing to develop a way to share with families what is being taught in this area. Student Portfolios and E–Portfolios Student portfolios are a valued and integral part of the children’s learning and achievement, they provide a format for students to record their work, goals, and achievements, reflect on their learning, and share their learning with a wider audience. For students in the Junior and Middle Syndicates of the Preparatory School the portfolio continued to be digital in 2020 using the online platform Seesaw. Students in Year 7 also began using this online tool to share learning with parents. Seesaw allows teachers and students to upload current examples of work, and for parents and family to view and comment.


Well-being and Pastoral Care Looking after the well-being of our students is a vital part of the school day. The Preparatory School has made a deliberate decision to continue to offer one teacher to one class of children. This is counter to the current trend in New Zealand state schools whereby two or more classes and teachers are together in one large teaching space. It is this conscious decision which allows our classroom teachers to develop an in-depth understanding and empathy for the small group of students in their care. In 2020, classroom teachers completed training in the Bounce Back resilience programme. The programme is an integral part to improving our school climate and developing empathy and resilience in children. Staff and student leaders also undertook training in Peer Mediation. Both programmes were subsequently implemented into classroom and breaktimes. For the students who require additional or more specialised support, the Pastoral Care team provides an important service. This team meets once a week to discuss and allocate students to a variety of services, including in-school counselling and guidance, and referral to outside agencies. In 2020, several initiatives were introduced to improve the recording and tracking of pastoral information. The introduction of PowerBI has allowed classroom teachers to view vital information regarding the students in their direct care, both current and historical. 10

The addition of an administration support person to the Pastoral team has also assisted in improved systems and communication in this area. During 2020 the team facilitated and helped run a Clubs Programme including Minecraft, Book Club, Crafts and Lego. Clubs provided students with a more diverse range of options for breaktimes. Two additional staff completed training in how to implement the small group Travellers Programme and both ran Travellers groups in 2020. Travellers provides specialist support for students requiring additional help in managing relationships. Term 4 saw an external review of our Pastoral Care and Discipline Systems. This provided a significant opportunity to identify strengths in our systems and opportunities for improvement. Post review, many recommendations were able to be swiftly implemented with planning underway to incorporate others. The Leadership team attended training on restorative practices, and this was implemented into discipline systems as a result. Supervision of students at break times increased and device usage during the day became more closely monitored. At the end of the year a new counsellor was appointed to work in the College, and this will double the amount of time available to support students who require one on one pastoral support in the Preparatory School. The Chaplaincy and Well-being teams continued to provide support and development for staff in understanding their own well-being and managing the complexities of work and home life in the 21st century. The College also continues to provide the services of Workplace Support who provide independent employee assistance in addressing personal and work-related issues.


Gifted and Talented Definition and Identification The purpose of defining and identifying giftedness is to recognise individual and group abilities, qualities and interests. Gifted education is about ensuring that gifted potential is realised, that gifted learners discover their strengths and follow their passions, and that barriers to success are minimised. Students in the Preparatory School who have been identified as Gifted and Talented are monitored and placed on the Learner Needs Register on the school’s student management system, Synergetic. Definition and Identification In the Preparatory School staff provide responsive learning environments in which students are encouraged to become adaptive, creative and resilient.

• develop independent or self-directed study skills;

Curriculum differentiation is a strategy used by staff to cater for the wide range of abilities in classrooms. Differentiation greatly enhances the educational experiences of gifted and talented students. When gifted learners are active participants in their learning and experience appropriately differentiated teaching and learning, well-being is promoted, and achievement and progress is accelerated.

• focus on open ended tasks;

The underlying principles guiding differentiation for gifted and talented students are to: • present content that is related to broad based issues, themes, or problems; • integrate multiple disciplines;


• present comprehensive, related, and mutually reinforcing experiences;

• develop productive, complex, abstract and/or higher order thinking skills; • develop research skills and methods; • evaluate student outcomes by using appropriate and specific criteria through self-appraisal. Curriculum enrichment is also used widely across all year levels of the Preparatory School. Curriculum enrichment refers to “learning activities providing depth and breadth to regular teaching according to the child’s abilities and needs” (Townsend, 1996). Curriculum enrichment is taught by specialist teachers and includes Physical Education, Religious Education, Spanish (Years 1–7), French (Year 8), Music, Dance and Drama, Art, Food and Material’s Technology (Years 7–8).

The provision of appropriate opportunities for all students is at the heart of learning in the Preparatory School. In 2020, COVID-19 impacted directly on several enrichment activities in the Preparatory School. Many competitions were postponed or changed to virtual or online events. However, even despite this, many opportunities for enrichment still went ahead and excellent results were achieved.

In 2020 the following areas were provided: Writing Enrichment During 2020, Kerrin Davidson worked in the Preparatory School as part of a writing enrichment programme. Kerrin is a published author and was Victoria University’s Creative Writing Teacher of the Year 2008. 2020 saw the writers’ enrichment programme in the Preparatory School continue to grow from strength to strength with an increase in classes and three writers master classes running from Years 3–6. The purpose of these classes was not only for the students who required extension in literacy but also for those students who have a passion for writing. Kerrin’s classes provided an open-ended platform for students to write creatively with no barriers. She encouraged all students and guided them positively in their learning. Sessions were run on a Monday and Thursday afternoon, as well as Friday lunchtime, with a variety of competitions entered including Japan Airlines Haiku, New Zealand Poetry Society, Australian Writers’ Competition, New Zealand

Gifted Association Competition and the Otago Daily Times competition. Over 20 Preparatory School students had works published both nationally and internationally. Thirteen students from Years 3–5 had their work published in Paula Green’s New Zealand Poetry Box. Two students were published in the Fabo Poetry Competition. Three students had highly commended poems published in the New Zealand Poetry Society International Anthology and a Year 3 student received an Honourable Mention in the Vancouver Invitation Haiku Competition 2020. The year concluded with a Creative Writing Competition held in the Preparatory School for Years 3–5 and Years 6–8. Winners received a cup at the end of year assembly. Future Problem Solving (FPS)

Future Problem Solving: To dream and to plan, to be curious about the future and to wonder how much it can be influenced by our efforts are important aspects of being human. – Dr E Paul Torrance, founder of FPSNZ

Future Problem Solving is a highly regarded and well-researched international educational programme that develops creative, critical and caring thinking skills in students. Students grapple with global and community issues, identify underlying problems and create positive solutions to those issues. Above all, it aims to give young people the skills to design and promote positive futures as citizens of the 21st Century. In 2020, the FPS programme was successfully coached by Julie Rogers, who has over 14 years’ experience. There were 10 teams across Years 5–8 with


more than 60 students involved in the Preparatory School programme. In 2020, a squad of six students were supposed to travel to the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Due to travel restrictions, the Global Final became a virtual International final. The students all worked very hard in the lead up. The international topic was Terraforming and there was a lot of work done around using Zoom and the Teams video call function. The students were among more than 1500 problem solvers from over 10 countries at the competition, in which critical thinking and problem-solving skills are applied to hypothetical future situations. We had two St Andrew’s College students compete in the Affiliate Global Issues Competition this year and they both placed. In this competition teams are made up of students from multiple countries. This was the first time they have competed together as a team so it was quite a challenge, let alone having to do this remotely. Second - Junior Division - James Anthony (Year 8), Third - Junior Division - Jasmine Hooker (Year 8). Both Junior Division teams were composed of members from the Alaska, Australia and New Zealand affiliates. In the Presentation of Action Plan Drama, our Middle Division team of William Bainbridge-Smith (Year 9), Elia Short, Scarlett Gray (both Year 8), Megan Simpson and Chantelle Xiong (both Year 9) came fourth internationally and won the most votes online and achieved ‘Fan Favourite’.

coming third in the Global Issues Dramatic Presentation and placing second in the booklet. Our two individual competitors placed first and second. In 2021 we have qualified again to compete in the International final. In the Middle Syndicate a Years 5–6 group attended FPS sessions twice a week in the Stepping Stones – Non-Competitive division. This division was particularly suitable for students and coaches who were attempting Future Problem Solving for the first time. Students spent time each week learning about the FPS process and researching various topics. Our teams worked very effectively together, developed critical thinking skills, and built a strong foundation for the 2020 programme. The students ran a feedback session and included the following about their FPS time: learned to work more efficiently with greater time management, more effective research skills, strategies to solve world issues, enjoyed futuristic thinking opportunity, and developed effective team building skills. Other enrichment opportunities offered in 2020: • Rotary Speech Competition; • Kids Lit Quiz ; • Extension Mathematics class Years 7–8; • Otago Problem Solving Years 7–8; • Code Club; • 3D Design and Printing Club; • Chess Club Terms 2–3;

At the National Final this year we had one team qualify and two individuals. The students again achieved amazing success 14

• D Squared Drama Group; • VEX IQ Robotics Club (Year 7).

Junior Department Continued interest in the St Andrew’s College Junior Department was reflected in our full classes and the families on our waiting lists who are committed to joining us when a place is available. During the year we welcomed two full New Entrant classes into our learning whānau. The Junior teaching team appreciated the opportunity to support new families as they transitioned into our St Andrew’s College Preparatory School community. Strong connections continued to be forged across St Andrew’s College campus as the Junior Department welcomed Secondary students into our classes for a variety of occasions. Some included Religious Education students sharing books they

wrote for a young audience, Year 10 buddy sessions and Drama students joining juniors in the playground. A highlight was having a visit from Year 13 students who started their schooling in the Junior Department. They shared their experiences with our young children. Appraisal Connector An ongoing indicator of the dedication and commitment to self-improvement of the teaching team, was evident throughout the year as teaching inquiries were recorded and shared with peers using the Appraisal Connector platform. These inquiries were reviewed during regular appraisal visits. Te Reo Māori Inclusive classroom practice continued to be a priority during 2020. Due to the restrictions related to COVID-19 our



annual Matariki celebration was scaled down to only include the children in our department. We missed the connection with our broader community but shared many aspects of the exciting day through Seesaw. The importance of family and connection through stories and games took on a new level of significance as everyone experienced the different levels of lockdown. Reading The Junior Department teaching team selected Reading Instruction as a focus for professional learning in 2020. We all attended a course run by Sheena Cameron and Louise Dempsey which provided inspiration for our teacher inquiries. Strengthening programmes included close attention being paid to the development of comprehension skills across the age group. Shared outcomes and probing collegial discussions were valued by the team and reflected in their class programmes. Oral language Our young learners continued to display strength in presenting clearly and confidently. This was most evident at the final Junior Department Assembly as many Year 2–3 students received badges for Speech and Drama. This large group of students displayed high levels of talent and the necessary work ethic to pass with Highly Commended and some children received Distinction. Writing The youngest Junior Department students have experienced success building their knowledge of sight words due to the systematic teaching of phonics.

This has ensured an understanding of spelling patterns. As these early skills were mastered, the children shared their recounts successfully. Older students experienced success writing narratives with detailed character descriptions. Information reports about wild animals provided another opportunity for children to transfer their writing skills across a variety of genres. Year 3 learners welcomed the opportunity to explore language and extend their spoken and written vocabulary. This was evident to all as they shared their memories of their years in the Junior Department at our annual Christmas celebration. Mathematics Prime Mathematics was the core of our teaching and learning programmes and will remain so in 2021. Our Prime programmes ensured a balanced exposure to the three dimensions of Mathematics: Procedural and Computational Skills, Conceptual Understanding and Problem Solving. During 2020, we explored new resources specifically created to support New Entrants and children developing foundation skills. Year 3 programmes included a focus on reading, understanding and identifying what strategies to use to solve mathematical word problems. These essential skills were required for measuring mathematical ability in a variety of assessment activities. Mindful Movers Mindfulness was identified by the teaching team as an area of Professional Development we wished to pursue in 2020.


We had not anticipated just how important these skills would prove to be during a year disrupted by COVID-19. We invited Erica Viedma and Johanna Borella from Mindful Movers, into our Department to lead the learning with the staff and students. The year started with a very successful parent information evening to reach out and ensure community support and understanding. The tutors had a different focus for each term. Term 1: Connection to the body and the brain Term 2: Connection to the heart Term 3: Connection to others The tutors visited classrooms and taught two lessons each term. Erica and Johanna were engaging and very skilled at pitching their message appropriately to each age group. The classroom teachers then carried on the conversation and embedded the new language into their class programme. It has been outstanding having a shared language to enable children to express their emotions and identify a strategy to restore equilibrium. Connection with emotions and language development are the very core of our young learners’ well-being. A syndicate highlight was the Mindfulness Junior Assembly run by the team to recap the lessons undertaken throughout the year. Children from each class demonstrated or explained a different aspect of the programme, including breathing techniques,’name it to tame it’ and red to green brain thinking. It was a joyful occasion.


Transition to School Our Transition to School programme has continued to meet the needs of our young visitors. Strong connections with our Pre-school ensured that we were focused on making adjustments that supported our children and their families. Flexibility was essential as COVID-19 placed restrictions on who could enter our classrooms. The children managed well under the altered conditions and arrived full of excitement about starting school. Our heartfelt thanks go out to the parents who set their little children up for successful visits, while they had to remain at the gate. It was a joy to eventually welcome everyone into our transition classroom. Inquiry Pathway Model Many exciting inquiries were undertaken during 2020. They included a Year 1 Arts Appreciation focus in which art was the source of motivation to extend oral language skills. This involved language development with a strong emphasis on questioning techniques. It was delightful discussing certain pieces of art and exploring themes like: Who would like this? Do you think it is valuable? What story is the artist telling? Communicating their responses with their peers challenged and extended their points of view. A highlight for the Year 2 classes was The Five Freedoms of Animals inquiry. Creating the diorama of an animal habitat, which included the Five Freedoms, was an excellent way of following an interest whilst developing a deeper understanding. As the children shared their habitats, strong connections were made regarding the Five Freedoms.

The Year 3 inquiry for 2020 was investigating Change in our Local Environment, with a particular focus on the geographical, historical and environmental change of the Port Hills. The social action for this inquiry took the children to Mary Duncan Park, on the east side of the Port Hills. There they enjoyed the experience of planting native trees. During their inquiry, the children worked closely with our IT specialist to develop skills that enabled them to present their learning in a digital format. At the end of Term 3, the highlight of our Inquiry lessons was sharing our learning with whānau. This included: a dance item created by the children to reflect their understanding of change, a number of songs that related to our natural environment, creative writing from a workshop lead by Kerrin Davidson, (our Writer in Residence), and the children’s individual PowerPoint presentations. The learning hallway in the Junior Department was an excellent venue for this sharing to take place. It has been a delight to see the children being able to share their learning with the wider community. Discovery time Tūhura Time (Discovery Time) experienced some enhancements under the excellent guidance of Marlene Van der Bent. The children had many opportunities to select an activity from a menu of: learn to create, to test, to do, to make and to learn about. This joyful occasion each Friday morning has had the Junior Department buzzing with excitement as children completed science investigations, mastered magic tricks, created art works, or managed to launch balloon rockets.


Middle Syndicate During 2020, the Middle Syndicate focused on extending the strong foundations of mutual respect and positive relationships to encompass our new well-being programme: Bounce Back. This focus facilitated developing shared understandings for our staff and students. The St Andrew’s College DPR (Developing Positive Relationships) values of Faith, Hope, Compassion, Respect, Honesty, Generosity, and Responsibility continued to be integrated into our classroom programmes and be an expectation for staff and student conduct. Manaakitanga To welcome new students to our school and the 2019 Year 3 students and new staff to our team, our beginning of the year focus was ‘Identity’ (self, family, class, team, school, community, national and international). Students shared their family culture and identity through a range of discussions, multimedia platforms, learning experiences and presentations. All students contributed to developing the class and team identity by running assemblies, team singing, weekly Growth Mindset Persistence Awards, Key Competency Awards. sustainability projects, shared inquiries, fitness together twice a week, Chapel services, Bounce Back programmes at each year level and a Years 5–6 speech competition. Appraisal Connector Teachers used Appraisal Connector (AC) to record and share their professional learning throughout the year. Images, documents and reflections were uploaded


to AC for self-appraisal, leadership appraisal and student voice to inform inquiry and reflection. Mathematics All Year 4–6 teachers continued to focus on integrating the Prime Maths Interactive Suite. Each year level collaborated to ensure they had Mathematics in the same period each day. This allowed for cross year level groupings, that were fluid and meeting individual needs throughout the year. The shared assessment practices and reporting allowed teachers to communicate learning progress for all students throughout the year. The students used the Prime Maths practise book, a maths exercise book, printed booklets to target an identified mathematical concept and online links for consolidating and extending learning.

Reading: Core 5 (Years 4–5) and Reading+ (Year 6) The Integration of Core 5 (Years 4–5) and Reading Plus (Year 6) into the classroom reading programme contributed to excellent progress in vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension for Year 4–6 students. The RBL (Reading Between the Lines) textbooks were used in all Year 4–6 classrooms. The RBL resource provided a broad and varied range of text types to engage students, facilitate reading skills and strategies and targeted comprehension at the student’s level. Writing – Spelling The assessment practices in our spelling programmes were robust, extensive, and provided effective direction for the spelling focus for each student. All Years 4–6 classroom programmes used the ‘Spelling Matters’ resource. ‘Spelling Matters’ is a spelling series that incorporates stimulating and proven activities to teach spelling skills and strategies. There is a total of six books in the series. Each student worked through a book that targeted their learning needs for one period each week.

self-esteem, Develop social skills, Manage emotions and Keep safe. In Year 6 two new Travellers groups were formed. Travellers is an innovative, small group programme to build resilience and key life skills. Navigating the Journey – Sexuality Education Sexuality education is one of seven key areas of learning in the Health and Physical Education learning area of The New Zealand Curriculum. It must be included in teaching programmes at both primary and secondary school levels. Learning activities have been designed around five themes: Establishing a positive learning environment; Who am I?; Relationships; Growing and changing; and Staying safe. All Year 4–6 classes used this resource during the year.

Bounce Back

Bounce Back is a programme that promotes positive mental health, wellbeing and resilience. All classes had weekly Bounce Back lessons and the students developed the common language of Bounce Back to share thoughts and experiences. In addition to Bounce Back, two new well-being programmes were offered to our students. In Year 4 a 10-week ‘Wise Up’ programme was very successful. ‘Wise-Up’ is a children’s life skills group programme to: Build confidence, Cope with worries, Build 21


Te Reo Māori


Our Years 4–6 Kapa Haka Group combined with the Year 7–8 students to take part in the Tūhono Kapa Haka Festival in November. The Year 7–8 students and teachers provided experience and leadership that was invaluable for our team. Our Kapa Haka teacher, Matua Steve, expertly taught the two groups separately and combined them leading up to their performances. The result was a high performing group who represented our school proudly at the Tūhono Kapa Haka Festival and were the opening for our 2020 St Andrew’s College end of year prize giving at Christchurch Arena. All teachers took part in Te Reo Māori professional learning during Term 1.

As Term 1 came to an end so did life as we knew it at St Andrew’s College. As a result of the lockdown, we all had the shared experience of learning from home for the last two weeks of Term 1 and the beginning of Term 2. The teachers worked very hard to ensure they remained connected to their students and maintained effective teaching and learning. The teachers used a range of email, shared links, OneNote, PowerPoint presentations, Microsoft Teams and video to have daily communication with their students. Seesaw was an integral part of the connection and collaboration during this time. It was used as an effective platform to share learning and give feedback at class, group, and individual level.

Year 7 In 2020, the Year 7 syndicate welcomed Dave Ermerins. Mr Ermerins came to the Preparatory School from the United Arab Emirates and brought many highquality skills to the Year 7 area. He joined the highly experienced team of Year 7 teachers. At the start of the year we welcomed 50 new students who transitioned into Year 7 from a variety of contributing schools. The beginning of year transition programme for all students included a learn to surf day at Sumner and a one-day sailing programme at Lake Rua. All students participated actively in the activities and new friendships were formed. Many other year group activities were included in Term 1 to ensure a culture of respect and inclusivity was created.

landscape of technology use. A one-hour information session from Constable Richard Brunton, a two hour workshop from ‘Tackling Technology’ and a Term 4 Inquiry looking at Online vs Offline behaviour has helped to reinforce appropriate behaviours surrounding the cyber use. This focus will continue for 2021. Student health and well-being has also been a major focus this year. The Bounce Back programme has been fully introduced across the year group, incorporating a variety of valuable resource, and introducing ‘circle time’. An update version of ‘Navigating the Journey’ Health resource was also used during Term 3 as the major part of the Sexuality Curriculum. Life Education was attended in Term 3 covering topics including the use of drugs and alcohol and how to make good decisions around these issues.

Due to the escalation of the COVID-19 situation at the end of Term 1, all learning quickly switched to an online platform. The Year 7 staff and students embraced the situation and continued to run effective classroom programmes using a variety of learning tools and technology. The daily plan for students was run using OneNote and Microsoft Teams and included interactive quizzes, online video meetings and a wide range of other learning. We welcomed enthusiastic students back into the classroom during Term 2 and it was exciting to once again to be teaching students face to face. A focus for 2020 for the students has been learning how to stay safe online. Several programmes were put in place to help students negotiate the ever-changing


The Travellers Programme was run twice throughout the year for Year 7 students. This 10 week withdrawal programme helps equip students with the skills to deal with life’s ups and downs. The Year 7 team also worked alongside Head of Innovation and Information Services, Wilj Dekkers, in Terms 2–3, developing EV3 Robotics programmes to help embed the Digital Technology Curriculum. This will continue to be a focus for 2021.

were unable to attend camp at Castle Hill, a week of activities was planned for students in Week 5 of Term 4. The students learnt a variety of new skills, including rock climbing, bowling, Top Team Challenge, and ice skating. The Year 7 students of 2020 have been a pleasure to work with. They have been focused, enthusiastic and high achieving, both in and out of the classroom. Kelly McBride

The Year 7 Adventure Week was a highlight for students. As Year 7 students


Year 7 Team Leader

Year 8 The Year 8 syndicate welcomed me into the team this year after the retirement of David Farmer at the end of 2019. I was very lucky to join an established group of passionate and committed teachers who ensured the transition was constructive and harmonious. We began the year by running a team building day. This was a great opportunity for teachers and students to get to know one another. Teachers were also able to identify students who showed strong leadership qualities and sound problem-solving skills, as students tried to combat the various challenges set before them. The Senior Literacy programme continued to go from strength to strength in 2020. The consistent and sustained use of the Reading Plus programme, together with group-based instructional reading programmes in each class, have resulted in improved reading outcomes across the syndicate. Continued assistance from our outstanding Learning Support team has also helped to raise achievement and regular benchmark testing enabled teachers to target areas of need effectively and quickly. Regular writing moderation meetings enabled the Year 8 syndicate to achieve more consistency across the year group and the use of devices and Microsoft OneNote and Teams allowed for more collaboration between teachers and students alike. Having an extra teacher during Year 8 Mathematics interchange has allowed for more targeted teaching and smaller class sizes. The regularity of Mathematics classes also helped to raise achievement

and student confidence. The use of Maths Buddy has been a useful way for students to reinforce the learning presented to them by their teachers and a strong problem-solving focus throughout the year has seen students frequently collaborate to achieve shared outcomes. The ICT department, and in particular Head of Innovation and Information Services, Wilj Dekkers, can be commended for their ongoing commitment to assisting Year 8 teachers to implement elements of the new Digital Technologies curriculum. Year 8 students will benefit hugely from the introduction they have had to computational thinking. Microsoft Teams and OneNote were used successfully across the syndicate and will continue to be used to enhance the learning experience of students. After an initial trial using Seesaw to present student work to families, it was decided that OneNote would be better suited to the Year 8 syndicate for this task. This also provided an opportunity to reinforce the connection to the Secondary School and what students are expected to do once they reach Year 9. The Year 8 syndicate managed the lockdown, due to COVID–19, with great professionalism and energy. When COVID–19 forced us all to retreat to our own homes, the Year 8 team had a detailed plan ready to keep our students engaged during the lockdown period. We were very lucky that our students own their own devices, and this allowed us to continue with our learning programmes with minimal disruption. The Bounce Back programme is designed to end at Year 7. However, elements of the programme were incorporated into the 25

well-being discussions and maintenance in each Year 8 class. The Travellers programme ran successfully between Terms 2–4 and was an excellent way to assist the well-being of several Year 8 students. Continued promotion of growth mindsets across classrooms have helped students to recover quickly from setbacks. Student leadership continued to expand in the syndicate, with well over 60 per cent of the year group holding leadership roles. The establishment of a peer mediator system has increased the opportunities for Year 8 students to show leadership within the Preparatory School and laid the groundwork for this scheme to continue in 2021. The transition to Year 9 was successful this year and improved lines of communication between the Preparatory School and Secondary School has allowed our students a settled end to the year and a smooth transition into the Secondary School in 2021. 2020 has been a challenging year. A year that forced us to show extra resilience and to care for one another. It has been a great privilege to be a part of the Year 8 syndicate and an even greater honour to be able to lead such an outstanding group of young people. I wish the Year 8 cohort of 2020 all the very best for the future and congratulate each and every one of them for the completion of their time in the Preparatory School. Morgan Sheppard Year 8 Team Leader


Mathematics Mathematics is the exploration and use of patterns and relationships in quantities, space, and time. Statistics is the exploration and use of patterns and relationships in data. These two disciplines are related but have different ways of thinking and of solving problems. Both equip students with effective means for investigating, interpreting, explaining, and making sense of the world in which they live. By learning Mathematics and Statistics, students develop other important thinking skills. They learn to create models and predict outcomes, to conjecture, to justify and verify, and to seek patterns and generalisations. They learn to estimate with reasonableness, calculate with precision, and understand when results are precise and when they must be interpreted with uncertainty. These situations are drawn from a wide range of social, cultural, scientific, technological, health, environmental, and economic contexts. Mathematics is broken up into three main areas, Number and Algebra, Geometry and Measurement, and Statistics, but as seen through the teaching and planning of our school, these all go hand in hand, and become integrated across the curriculum. Number involves calculating and estimating, using appropriate mental, written, using estimation, and justifying our understanding. Algebra involves generalising and representing the patterns and relationships found in numbers, symbols, or patterns. Geometry involves

recognising and using the properties and symmetries of shapes and describing position and movement. Measurement involves quantifying the attributes of objects, using appropriate units, and instruments. Statistics involves identifying problems that can be explored using appropriate data, designing investigations, collecting data, exploring and using patterns and relationships in data, solving problems, and communicating findings. Problem-solving is another integral skill in our Mathematics curriculum. We believe that by solving problems students understand better what mathematics entails, what it can do, and how it comes to its conclusion. It builds their resilience, and confidence, in becoming more independent in their thinking and skills. Mathematics and statistics have a broad range of practical applications in everyday life, in other learning areas, and in workplaces. Effective Mathematic practices continued to be evident at all levels of the school. Teachers utilised the growing range of tools and resources to ensure our students continued to be well-rounded mathematicians, not only in Number, Geometry, and Statistics, but also Problem Solving. The skills and resources adopted by our teachers continued to be beneficial as shown by end-of-year results. The children understand that Mathematics surrounds them, and they can look at life from a mathematical point of view. Sport, food, technology, and the arts all involve mathematics. The focus in the Senior Syndicate was exploring ‘Developing Mathematical


Inquiry Communities (DMIC)’ and implementing this in the classroom. There was also an increased focus on rich tasks, and finding real life examples where mathematics is required, to make a connection with our learners. Some examples include the ever popular ‘Dream Trip’ activities, as well as design tasks, where students either designed a playground, a house, a dragon enclosure, etc. Prime Mathematics is in its fourth year of full integration in both the Junior Department and Middle Syndicate. The students remain engaged and focused with the programme, and we are seeing pleasing results as students enter the Senior Syndicate with confidence and effective mathematic skills. The staff also committed to further exploration of resources to supplement and enhance their lessons, looking to increase the variety of examples and rich tasks being used. Education Perfect was used once again as an assessment tool, and to increase engagement and individualised learning programmes. The diagnostic assessments created individual and personalised learning programmes that accurately met the needs of each student. The progress seen in assessments was outstanding, helped teachers to guide their lessons, and ensured targeted remediation where required. Problem Solving in the Years 7–8 syndicate was well received along with some outstanding results within the school, and in national and international competitions — Otago Problem Solving, Australian Mathematics Olympiad, Australian


Mathematics examinations, and ICAS Mathematics examinations. As in previous years, there was a focus on keeping the assessment and reporting of students in line with not only the Preparatory School, but also the Secondary School requirements. The use of moderation of Overall Teacher Judgement (OTJs) Levelled Number tests, and constant discussions ensured close alignment. Links with the Secondary School Mathematics Department continued during 2020. Together, the relevant staff attended Canterbury Mathematics Association events, and this had the added benefit of increased professional learning. This included attending courses on e-Learning in Mathematics, as well as Geometry, Numicon, and DMIC programmes hosted at the College. The Canterbury Mathematics Association provided further professional development opportunities. Our staff have been fortunate to attend many after school sessions, with the hope of participating in more of these events in 2021.

Sport The Preparatory School provides a wide range of sporting opportunities for our students. The emphasis is on opportunity, giving our students the opportunity to participate and compete. Sport is a very important co-curricular area as in many cases it allows students to be part of a team and to develop several important skills able to be transferred into other areas of their lives. The Preparatory School sports programme aims to provide: Physical Benefits • improved fitness, strength, flexibility and coordination; • increased range of motor skills. Social Benefits • improved communication and interpersonal skills; • improved leadership and co-operation skills; • opportunity for lasting friendships; • increased interest in accepting responsibility; • ability to assume responsible risk-taking. Personal Benefits • enjoyment; • increased self-esteem, self-confidence and general well-being; • improved ability to concentrate; • self-discipline, commitment and responsibility; • organisational skills.

There are strong participation numbers in Years 7–8. Further classroom programmes will be required to build numbers in younger age groups. We also fielded a girls’ cricket team in the New Zealand Shield for a second year running. This year the team finished runners up in the Christchurch tournament. A great achievement and there are several girls wishing to play in 2021, at least 16 who have no previous experience but are keen to take part. We have a strong cohort of Year 6–7 players coming through. Due to COVID-19, neither of the tours to Australia or the AIMS Games went ahead in 2020. In 2021, tours will take place domestically due to the lack of certainty around international travel. Hockey, netball and football will take part in the 2021 AIMS Games in Tauranga, and rugby will attend the Independent Schools Festival of Rugby at St Peter’s School, Cambridge. 29


The relationship with Heaton Normal Intermediate School continues to be very strong and we have shared resources effectively to provide Heaton with facilities to train their cricket and hockey teams and in turn they have allowed us the use of their grounds for rugby and athletics practice. We have also provided teams to help prepare school teams for tournaments. This relationship is essential to ensure we can offer enough training facilities and preparation games for our students and teams. Several school exchange games in basketball, rugby, football, netball, cricket, and hockey were played during the year, due to COVID-19, these were local exchanges. Our sport teams were successful in these exchanges, in particular football, hockey and netball. Many of our students represented their region in a variety of sports and were successful in the ISSA and CPSSA competitions in triathlon, duathlon, cross country, swimming, and athletics. There were also several students who represented both zones and Canterbury in cricket and tennis. Football, hockey, rugby, and netball no longer offer representative games for intermediate aged students. The mixed hockey team was crowned ISSA and CPSSA champions for 2020. Our Senior Preparatory School netball team won the ISSA Winter Tournament. The boys’ tennis team and the girls’ tennis team were also crowned CPSSA Champions for 2020, a title both teams retained. Leadership opportunities continue to be very important for our Year 8 students. Sport Captains must apply for positions and are then interviewed for the role.

It is a great opportunity for students to become familiar with an interview process. The role as a sport captain is important as they report back to the community, make speeches, support the sport coordinators, and fulfil other tasks. The students embraced the opportunity and did a great job of providing coaching to our junior students from Years 1–3. The House Captains also did an effective job in 2020, with an added responsibility of running the sport shed, designed to distribute a range of sports equipment at break times in Term 4. This was very popular. In 2021, a range of House events will be run by the House Captains in Term 4, in addition to the carnival sports of athletics, cross country and swimming. This year, Year 8 coaches have been well utilised in both netball and cricket. Many have continued to support Mrs Fitzgerald’s Years 1–3 netball programme. They have also been particularly effective with hockey and basketball. The Year 8 cricketers also welcomed the Head of Umpires with Canterbury Cricket to the school and completed an umpire course, the first such course held at St Andrew’s College Preparatory School. Coaching is an area that is essential to a successful sporting programme at St Andrew’s. During 2020, we presented to Year 13 students regarding the opportunities available to them in 2021, particularly coaching Preparatory School teams. Several students, who will study in Canterbury, expressed an interest in coaching. This involvement will support the staff coaches at the Preparatory School. Sport coaching Professional Development opportunities will be made available to staff in 2021. We also have 31

some very able coaches who are teachers at the school. We will continue to engage Coaching Solutions and Motivationz who have provided some excellent coaching support. Some of our coaches are also involved in the Core Sport programme. Core Sport continues to go from strength to strength. This year the Core Sport programme was used in Term 1 for team selections, giving students a more substantial opportunity to impress. More professional coaches were also used to support better student/coach ratios and therefore a more effective quality of coaching. In Term 1, students selected their winter sports and had a variety of high-performance coaches in their field. Due to COVID-19, and the finish date of the winter season being moved to the end of Term 3, mainly winter sports were covered, plus cricket. 2021 Core Sport will begin at the start of Term 1, in Week 3, and this will mean that Core Skills preparation for winter sports can start from the beginning of Term 1 and trials can be replaced by a 4–5 week team and player identification session to select teams during school with no disruption to summer sports. In Terms 3 and 4, Year 1–8 students travelled to the new Christchurch School of Gymnastics for the gymnastics programme. This provided a hugely improved programme and was not weather dependent. The programme was differentiated and very popular with students of all ages. In 2021, this programme has again been booked for Year 1–8 students. Sport Selection for 2020 was further improved with parents being contacted via an online program called Web Preferences 32

to make their selections. This data was then quickly transferred into Synergetic. By Thursday of the first week in Term 1, all data had been transferred into Synergetic and by the end of the week, all parents were notified of their child’s selections, both summer and winter, and informed of any relevant information. This has been the most effective process to date and will continue in 2021. Year 4 basketball was added to summer sport options in 2020. This reduced the demand for gym space where spots in the gym are at a premium. We currently have 12 summer sports and five winter sports on offer. Mountain biking will be added as a summer sport option in 2021. Students can receive dispensation from school sport if they choose to offer sports that the school doesn’t follow. Students are taking advantage of the many sports currently on offer. The Preparatory School used the StAC App effectively for Preparatory Sport in 2020. Draws for each code were initially sent to students and families via Synergetic. However once venues were confirmed on the Friday prior to games, the draw was re-sent through the App. The community appreciated having the relevant information surrounding draws on hand. It was also used for reorganisation surrounding wet weather, in conjunction with SMS through Synergetic, keeping the community informed as to where their student may be at a given time should the normal practice venue change. New uniforms for the Cricket 1st XI have been ordered for 2021. Uniforms are currently in good condition and the strong St Andrew’s brand is represented proudly

through the uniforms that students wear. The repayment of uniforms is meeting the required schedule and will ensure we can update uniforms as and when required. Goals continue to be set for 2021 to ensure we work towards providing the best primary sports programme. It is essential that professional development be undertaken to visit schools with successful programmes both domestically and internationally. This did not happen in 2020 due to the restrictions that came about due to COVID-19, there should be more opportunity in 2021/2022.

particularly for those parents who must continue to work. The earlier drop off time of 8.30am is appreciated, as is the later supervision to cater for the working day. These camps will continue in 2021 at the end of Term 1 and Term 3 holidays. Communication in the Preparatory School for sport is very good. Through Synergetic and the newsletter, the community is kept well informed of upcoming events and student achievement. Teams was also used for Year 7–8 students to contact them directly and during the lockdown was used effectively to provide the students with practice opportunities.

Sport Medley Camps continue to be popular for students during the holidays,


Learning Support The Learning Support Department had a very successful year, over 70 students benefitted from support in a variety of individual and class-based support programmes. The team worked closely with class teachers to ensure the students in the programmes obtained the necessary skills and knowledge to close deficits and to reach their potential. Intervention programmes were implemented to meet the specific needs of students on the register. The specialist services of professionals were beneficial to the students, and their input very much valued. The diversity of needs is varied. Students with dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, behavioural needs, emotional and social communication disorders deserve to be understood and have their needs catered for. Students were placed in programmes to support their learning. Programmes included Literacy, Reading, Spelling, Writing, Numeracy, Social and Emotional, Personal, and Behavioural Development. Resources used were selected because of their strong research-based credentials and engagement with the students. Intervention programmes addressed academic remediation, personal selfmanagement, social skills and strategies to cope with anxiety and stress. The Tier System provided an appropriate method for the allocation of resources for each individual or group. The communication between learning support staff, private tutors, specialists, parents


and class teachers, ensured the right resourcing was in place. Collaboration with team members is essential and continued throughout the year. Learning Support worked collaboratively during the year with Educational Psychologists, Special Education Services, Department of Health, Hearing Impaired Association, Speech Language Therapists, Specific Learning Difference Teachers, parents, and the College Counsellors to identify individual student needs, and to ensure learning goals and outcomes were the most appropriate for everyone. We appreciated the support and guidance of the College Counsellors and the support they provided to our students. It was a highlight to have co-facilitated the Travellers Programme for Resilience and Well-being during 2020 with two groups: one Year 6 and the other Year 8. The Year 8 group continued from 2019. The group started with 10 students and this quickly increased to 12. The summary comments from students, regarding the value of the ongoing support and sharing in life’s challenges, was rewarding. Head of Learning Support regularly attended the Pastoral Care meetings with the aim of strengthening and promoting the emotional well-being of the students. Most of our students require a holistic approach to their learning. The services of Socially Speaking and a behavioural specialist continued to support students with social communication requirements and assist students to develop self regulation and selfmanagement skills. For two students, an across curriculum IEP (Individual Learning Plan) was

implemented. The modification of class programmes and individual lessons enabled success with personal goals. It was exciting to have included some life skills and creative activities to support the learning. Two students were assigned Ministry of Education funding for teacher aide support. This was delivered within the classroom setting and made a significant difference to the students’ safety and success. The Learning Support Department met weekly for support and professional development. The topics covered included knowledge of selected programmes, assessments and how to plan relevant and achievable goals. Electronic reading programmes were used, which supported class reading programmes. The Heggerty Phonemic Awareness programme was introduced; this helps students learn and distinguish between Te Reo Māori and English vowels and supports literacy progress. The Head of Learning Support attended the Christchurch Independent Schools’ Support Group meetings during the year. This was both valuable and motivating. The Learning Support Department aims to continue to use peer researched resources and teaching methods for our students, and to provide them with every chance to reach their potential and experience success. 2021 will bring new and exciting developments to enhance learning opportunities for our students. It is with anticipation we look forward to implementing some new initiatives particularly for Neuro Diverse students and to continue to provide very personal programmes to meet individual student needs. 35

Visual Arts The year began with some changes to the timetable for Visual Arts. After a trial in Year 7 in 2019, it was determined the Senior Syndicate double period art programme was improved by being scheduled over eight consecutive weeks per half class, rather than fortnightly. The advantage was that continuity and workflow improved and students were able to engage over consecutive weeks and were not so disadvantaged by absences. Consequently, this scheduling was extended into Year 8 in 2020. Years 5–6 art classes were rescheduled to be weekly one period lessons rather than the previous double period fortnightly lessons. These changes have proven to be advantageous to everyone involved. Little were we to know that, just at the point when the first Year 7–8 classes were to swap over from food to art, all learning would be conducted remotely due to the March/April lockdown. Teaching and learning Visual Art online required creativity and adaptation of the usual programme to suit the situations families found themselves in during Level 4 and subsequently, in Level 3. All art classes from Years 1–8 were designed to accommodate the resources students had at home. Lessons were uploaded to the classes and then students submitted their artwork usually as a photograph attached to an email directly to the art specialist teacher. The teacher then responded to each student, commenting on the submission, and encouraging participation in the following lesson.


Returning to school on 14 May brought feelings of relief, excitement and pride as lessons restarted in earnest. It was energising to feel the heft of a lump of clay once again, hold a printing roller, or, dip a large brush into paint. Some new resources were purchased in 2020, mainly recently published books focusing on artists around the world. Annual school events like Book Week, Māori Language Week and Founders’ Day also shaped the content of the programme. A wide offering of media and materials allowed students to experience many different means of expressing themselves visually. Their completed artworks were displayed throughout the Preparatory School. The newly purchased acrylic frameless display system has enhanced the ability to rapidly turn around the exhibition of students’ art.

Music 2020 was without many of the regular performance opportunities for the children. The pandemic saw the cancellation of many school concerts and performances. This meant the year took on a rather different focus. In February, the two Year 4 classes combined to perform the song ‘Albatross’ by Christchurch composer Murray Lennox. Our Preparatory School was invited to perform this piece in a concert at All Souls Church to celebrate Murray’s life as an active composer within the Christchurch community. This was an honour and an opportunity the children really enjoyed. Little did we realise at the time that this would be the last live performance for our Preparatory School children for quite a few months. In late March, the New Entrant – Year 6 music classes resumed online. This was a new opportunity for a different musical focus. The teaching of the Kodaly pedagogy was easily able to be transferred to an online style of learning for the junior classes. Despite children in Years 3–6 not having access to school Music Room instruments, home musiclearning focus shifted to a programme of music appreciation. Children were introduced to Prokofiev’s classic Peter and the Wolf, and Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals, where they learned about the instruments of the orchestra. The Year 4 music programme introduced children to learning the descant recorder. This year, the Kodaly method was used rather than the traditional method of

beginning with the notes: B, A and G. Instead, the solfa pitches of so, mi and la (A, G and E) became the starting point. The Kodaly method is a musical pedagogy that focuses on the expressive and creative skills of musicianship through singing activities. The repertoire of so, mi, la songs that the children had learned and memorised during the Years 1–3 programme were transferred to the recorder. Children were shown how to apply the three pitches of A, G and E to play known so, mi, la songs. Within a short space of time the children were confidently playing ten songs on the recorder. Children were able to experience instant success and had great pride in this achievement. With the switch to homelearning happening early in the year, the Year 4 children were able to present to their families a performance of these songs on the recorder. In August, our Preparatory School Junior Orchestra was filmed by Cengage Publishing Australia for a book, Our School Orchestra. This photo shoot came about as the project was not able to take place in Australia with their country’s pandemic restrictions. It was a very long morning of photography, but nevertheless a very interesting experience learning about the photographic precision and continuity that goes into putting a publication together. The book is part of a reading series that is used in New Zealand and Australian primary schools. This book is due to be released in early 2021. Unlike many other parts of the world, we have been most fortunate during the COVID–19 pandemic to be able to continue with rehearsals with our two Preparatory School choirs and orchestra. However,


there were few occasions to perform to families. The children did school-based performances instead, performing to fellow classmates and classes. A highlight was putting on a concert for the whole Preparatory School. This also included a stunning performance by the Year 7 trio chamber group.

the World by Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson. This was then sent to the festival where it was synchronised with other school choir recordings to produce a combined online performance. The result was stunning and can be viewed on the Christchurch Schools’ Music Festival website.

Early in 2020, a new opportunity came about for the Years 6–8 Cantare Choir to work collaboratively with the Preparatory School Ballet Academy. The Academy’s Artistic Director, Dr Carolyn Cairns, choreographed a dance to go with an acapella piece, Whispers in the Tree. This was performed at a Preparatory School Assembly in Term 2.

The Junior School Carol Concert in the Chapel featured a variety of music and drama items from each of the Year 1–3 groups. This year, the Year 3 children performed the carol Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree. The performance included parts for double bass, two cellos, acoustic guitar and glockenspiel. The instrumentalists first played the piece as an instrumental performance before the Year 3 children joined in with singing the carol. The children learned much about performing together and staying in time. This was a very rewarding and enjoyable experience for the teachers and the children.

In place of the cancelled 2020 Christchurch Schools’ Music Festival, schools were given the opportunity to be part of a virtual choir. In November the Cantare Choir was videoed singing We are


Dance and Drama Dance Students in Years 1–3 explored the elements of body awareness, space and relationships in order to create movement sentences to express an idea. Student-led choreography was crucial to the development of the Year 3 dance as part of their learning inquiry. Students developed their thinking and communication skills using movement sequences to make meaning. In 2020, students in Years 7–8 had a double period of Dance and Drama for one term. This allowed greater freedom to engage the interests of each class. The students used the Charleston, to create their own dance often with amusing consequences. Working in this creative and open ended way extended the students thinking. Drama In Drama, we worked extensively with stories as these provide a framework to discuss real world experiences. All students worked in role as much as possible to solve problems and explore real life issues or imagined roles.

characters and stories. Years 7–8 created radio plays using objects within the home for sound effects. These were many great creations, and many students enlisted the help of their family to voice various characters. Once back at school, students in Years 5–8 used story starters to develop a range of roles. The students created some delightful scenarios and developed their ability to sustain a role. D-Squared D-Squared had a great turn out this year. A solid and committed group worked throughout the year to develop their ability with both improvised and scripted work. The group worked through an introduction to Theatresports, thanks to some training from some of the Year 10 Theatresports teams. The use of games and training exercises builds confidence and skill in improvisation. This group provided a good sense of community for some of the Preparatory School students.

Junior classes started with stories taken from books. When in role, they would go on a journey of the imagination; weaving in their numerous ideas to develop a collective story. With the move to online learning, a rethink was needed to develop ways to create drama while being isolated. Years 2, 4 and 5 created puppets and developed


Physical Education In the Preparatory School students received an interactive and enjoyable Physical Education programme involving a variety of sport options to cater for all needs and abilities. This provided the opportunity to develop skills and to identify sporting codes of interest to pursue in the future. Physical Education is learning in, through and about movement. It is not about creating elite athletes, and its prime focus is to develop interpersonal skills and enjoyment in participating in physical activities to create a healthy way of living. The aim of the programme is to inspire, motivate, and educate students in the physical environment to be healthy in all aspects of hauora. This was done successfully and was evident through student achievement in a variety of school events and activities and linking in with the school’s focus on well-being. The focus area for the Junior Syndicate was to discover movement through non-sport specific activities. Activities for this stage enabled children to explore and discover for themselves what is involved in performing a movement or skill. Students also developed the skills to work successfully in a small group or team. This enabled them to be a productive participant and to manage their behaviour in Physical Education lessons. A perceptual movement programme was also offered once a week to the Year 0–1 students, which helped not only with their physical literacy but also classroom-based activities such as writing.


A development phase occurred in the Middle Syndicate curriculum. The students became more efficient and refined in movement through repetition in a variety of contexts. This included an introduction to basic game play of mainstream sports. Students also started to experience a leadership role within the class and started to involve themselves more in team strategies and game tactics. They were exposed to a variety of sporting contexts, so they were able to find one that suited them and was enjoyable. The aim was not to make elite athletes but to make them want to have a lifelong relationship with physical activity. Through the Senior Syndicate the students consolidated the skills developed in earlier years. They applied movement skills in a variety of ways and combined other movements in more complex games and activities. Skills became more automatic and the focus was on being able to naturally transfer skills from one context to another. There was also a greater focus on tactical and strategic game play. Students were confident in taking on the role as a leader and be able to have the respect of their peers to do this. Most students were able to manage themselves in all lessons with limited teacher direction. Physical Education does not only focus on movement, it also focuses on interpersonal skills such as teamwork, co-operation, listening, managing self, and relating to others. These are the skills that have been identified in the New Zealand Curriculum as Key Competencies. The Physical Education programme gives students the opportunity to learn, develop, and fine-tune these skills in an energetic and motivating environment which they can then apply to all facets of life.

Small tweaks were made from the previous year’s programme, especially with COVID–19 as this created a whole new challenge of how to deliver a physical education programme remotely. The physical aspect was not so much of an issue as tasks and challenges could be set then videoed. However, the interpersonal side was much harder as there was little or no interaction outside each child’s bubble. In the end we used a variety of activities to cater for different family structures. We also developed lessons as the children returned to school to ensure physical distancing while keeping true to the Physical Education underlying and independent concepts of Hauora, Attitudes and Values, socio-ecological perspective and health promotion. Despite COVID-19, many new ideas and activities were trialled in 2020 to keep up with the latest trends. These activities came from numerous Personal Development opportunities during the year via online platforms, professional conversations with colleagues, as well as social media websites where teaching practices are shared and developed with other educators all around the world. The Physical Education programme benefited from these new ideas which in turn correlated to successful student learning opportunities irrespective of ability.


Religious Education Having hope in tough times is something we all found challenging throughout the year as the world struggled with COVID-19 and our nation went into lockdown for seven weeks. There are many human stories told and retold throughout human history which describe how ‘difficult times’ have brought about strength, developed character and shown a different perspective. Bear Grylls writes, “Sometimes it isn’t until we get knocked down that we find which way is up, sometimes it isn’t until the sky clouds over that we notice the light.” One of the many challenges we faced during 2020 was to provide the children with online learning opportunities while they were at home. Being part of a learning community where the ICT department is well resourced and professional training occurs, meant Specialist lessons, such as Religious Education, could continue to be taught over the varied age ranges. The Chaplain really valued being able to have dialogue with students via a variety of ways such as email, OneNote and Teams, and to connect with younger children and their families via Seesaw. Building a sense of community was also aided by the ICT and Communication departments, enabling live online Chapel Services during the lockdown period. With the co-ordination of several staff and students, three Chapel services were run for the Preparatory School Students, staff, and families. The Chaplain gave an Easter message to the Year 5–8 students via a pre-recorded video message.


When the students returned to ‘normal school routines’ the year continued to be full of many learning opportunities. The Chaplaincy team provided creative and thoughtful messages for students during the Tuesday morning Chapel services. Although several Chapels were cancelled throughout the year, the community came together to celebrate the annual Advent Service in November. We were very grateful to be able to meet as a large group, knowing that for many people across the globe this was not yet possible. The Year 8 Sacristan Team gave great support to the Chaplains throughout the year, as did the Student Technical Team; these students were able to adapt to changing circumstances with great skill and patience. The Waiata used at the end of each Preparatory School Chapel Service continues to hold special meaning to our community.

Te aroha (love and understanding) Te whakapono (Faith) Te rangimarie (Peace) Tatou tatou e (All of us together)


Library At St Andrew’s College Preparatory School, we are proud to have a wellresourced library facility that meets the needs of all our young readers. We work hard to ensure that our physical and digital collections are vibrant and engaging to hook our youngest St Andrew’s College minds into the joys of reading for pleasure. Library Collection and Circulation 2020 In 2020, over 500 new books were added to the Preparatory School Library collection, including the latest releases from our most popular series, and plenty of new and exciting books from both local and international authors. Great care is taken when selecting new books for our collection to ensure we have the very best of children’s literature in-house for our students to access. This investment in our collection ensures high levels of student engagement in the Preparatory School Library: • the volume of books issued to students and staff during 2020 was only marginally lower than during 2019, with a total circulation figure of just over 25,000 items. This is a significant achievement given the extended period away from school early in the year; • picture books continue to be very popular with both our younger and older readers and staff. A total of 7700 were issued in 2020; • novels and first chapter books were also very popular with 5200 and 5300 issued respectively;


• just under 3500 non-fiction books were issued during this period; • graphic novels continue to grow in popularity with a circulation figure of over 1000. The use of the school’s digital library facility, SORA, increased significantly during 2020 with many students using this resource during the learning from home period. • St Andrew’s College Libraries experienced a 59% increase in the use of the digital library during this period; • the library was able to respond immediately to the learning from home period and purchased a significant number of new eBooks and audiobooks to meet increased demand; • SORA supported readers worldwide with a large selection of free resources which we were able to make available to students through our online platform. Library Instruction Programme The Preparatory School Library was able to continue to deliver both Reading Engagement and Information Literacy teaching programmes during 2020, including the learning from home period. An update of the St Andrew’s College Library website during 2020 has ensured that students are now provided with a user-friendly gateway to several preselected, high quality digital resources. The website is used comprehensively by students in the Preparatory School as part of the Library Instruction Programme.

Additional Programmes • Wide Reading: The Wide Reading Programme continued to be popular in 2020. Nearly 40 students gained their Gold Wide Reading Award in 2020, with additional students achieving Silver and Bronze Awards. • Kids’ Lit Quiz: During November two teams of our enthusiastic readers represented St Andrew’s College in the Canterbury Heat of the 2020 International Kids’ Lit Quiz. As always, the competition was tough with 34 teams competing. StAC 1 took a Top 10 placement, and StAC 2 won Round 8 after a tough tiebreak question. • Book Week – Mischief and Mayhem: In Term 3 staff and students spent a wonderful week full of learning and fun celebrating the best of children’s literature. The theme for 2020 was Mischief and Mayhem: a celebration of the mischief makers and story shakers of Children’s Literature.

A highlight of the week was a visit from the author and St Andrew’s College parent, Soraya Nicholas. Soraya is the author of the very popular Starlight Stables series and our students were engrossed as she talked about her writing and her horses. Soraya kindly donated her author’s fee to the St Andrew’s College Community Support Programme. Other highlights included our stunning book parade with all the students dressed up as mischievous book characters, and a visit from the Rector who read two fabulous stories to our Years 1–3 children. Book Fair Our Annual Scholastic Book Fair was extremely successful selling close to $7000 worth of books and stationery; this provides our school with $2500 worth of credit with Scholastic. These funds are then used to support the Wide Reading Programme.


Digital Technology and eLearning In 2020, the Ministry of Education expected schools to have implemented the update to the Technology curriculum. The new additions focused on the skill of Computational Thinking and providing students with opportunities to use a variety of digital tools to share their learning. Preparatory School teachers trialled the new curriculum resources through 2019. Robotics was selected as the context for CT (Computational Thinking) and a range of digital tools, including Minecraft Education Edition were used to teach DDDO (Designing and Developing Digital Outcomes).


The trial used an Arduino based robot called a ‘Flipbot’. Working with resources provided by Actura New Zealand, a programme of work was developed that used the updated progress outcomes from the revised technology curriculum. The trial of the ‘Flipbot’ was unsuccessful. Feedback from teachers highlighted undue complexities with programming and issues with the overall design of the robots. The scheme was adapted, and the Lego Mindstorms EV3 robots already owned by the College were transitioned from co-curricular use to an in-class resource for Digital Technology. Both staff and students found the EV3s a big improvement from the FlipRobots used in the previous year. The students worked enthusiastically in teams to complete a range of challenges each week. These challenges were appropriate for the year

level and assisted in developing essential skills such as programming, creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication. Digital Literacy began in Year 0 and was incorporated into every year level of the Preparatory School. In the Junior Department, the students began the year by completing offline coding activities. These activities introduced the children to programming concepts while also promoting computational thinking. From there, the students progressed to BeeBots to put these coding skills into practice.

The requirement for remote teaching and learning early in 2020, highlighted the importance of using digital tools for anytime, anywhere learning. A variety of approaches were used by Preparatory School teachers to suit the needs of their classes and individual students. Staff and students were trained to effectively use Microsoft Teams to communicate with classes, groups and individuals during the nationwide lockdown period. Positive aspects of the tools used will be added to a new Digital Literacy programme to be introduced from Term 1 2021.

The Year 3 students were eager to advance to the Surface Go laptops to enhance their learning. The use of the Surface Go was incorporated into all learning areas, with a highlight being the Inquiry PowerPoint presentations they created to present at a learning celebration afternoon with parents in Term 4. In 2020, the decision was made to begin using the Lego Mindstorms EV3 robots as part of the Middle Syndicate Robotics programme. By Year 7, teachers were able to independently teach the computational thinking robotics programme. Using resources developed for online learning; a combination of pre-recorded videos and lessons structured in Microsoft Teams and OneNote provided Year 7–8 teachers with a full scheme of work. Teachers and students were able to access and review new learning at a pace appropriate to them. This bank of resources will continue to be used in 2021.





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